Long-term buspirone therapy for chronic anxiety: a multicenter international study to determine safety

South Med J. 1990 Feb;83(2):194-8. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199002000-00014.


This report presents results from an international multicenter trial of the safety of buspirone in the treatment of anxiety disorders for periods up to one year, if needed; 424 patients were treated for six months, and 264 patients completed a full year of treatment. Chronic use of buspirone for up to 52 weeks was associated with emergence of no new or unexpected side effects that were not previously reported during shorter periods of treatment. Most patients were successfully managed on daily doses ranging from 15 to 30 mg/day. When buspirone therapy was abruptly discontinued after more than six months of therapy, assessments of patients yielded no evidence of a withdrawal syndrome or unusual events. Although long-term anxiolytic drug therapy is not generally recommended, this open study provides evidence of the potential usefulness of buspirone when used for up to one year. As a general guideline, when an anxiolytic agent is used for several months or longer to treat chronic anxiety, the need for drug therapy should be reevaluated periodically.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Buspirone / administration & dosage
  • Buspirone / adverse effects*
  • Buspirone / therapeutic use
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manifest Anxiety Scale
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Research Design


  • Buspirone